The managements of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and Nigerian Bar Association have formalised an agreement to enroll 1000 members under the group health insurance policy known as GIFSHIP, which means the Group, Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme.
GIFSHIP is health insurance that is taken up and paid for by groups, individuals and families not covered by other NHIS coverage platforms.
Eligibility and membership include, small scale enterprises with less than 10 staff, non cohesive groups of persons, such as associations, unions and institutions outside the Organised Private Sector (OPS), self-employed individuals, families and groups, retirees and retiree associations and Diaspora groups, as well as foreigners living in Nigeria.
As part of the initial engagement with NHIS, the NBA presented a cheque of N15 million to the Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo at the headquarters of the scheme in Abuja on Thursday to formally register 1000 members on the health insurance scheme.
Speaking during the signing of the MoU, the President of NBA Olumide Akpata said the association is expecting to access quality health for lawyers through the NHIS GIFSHIP platform.
” This is very important for us at the NBA to be able to access quality healthcare and we see the NHIS as one channel to achieve this. So we have started with 1000 of our members. It is just the beginning, we have over 100,000 members across the country,” he said.
Akpata said that NBA is delighted with the partnership arrangement with the NHIS , adding that the MoU will ensure that programme is sustainable.
On his part, Sambo described the MoU with the NBA as a landmark achievement for the NHIS which has been campaigning for more Nigerians to register under the health scheme.
He said: ” The event of today is very significant in that our drive towards attaining universal health coverage is gaining momentum”.
Sambo said the development of the GIFSHIP insurance platform was meant to give everyone opportunity to join the health insurance scheme irrespective of where he or she works.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the ceremony, the Executive Secretary said that federal executive council has approved a proposal put forward by the NHIS management to embark on massive infrastructure development at all its offices nationwide and to ensure the deployment of information and communication technology devices that will become automated in the next few months.
He said with the deployment of the ICT infrastructure, individuals will be able to sit in the comfort of their homes and register for the health scheme online.